AeroMobil reveals electric VTOL flying car concept
Like Terrafugia and Pal-V, AeroMobil has developed a flying car/roadable aircraft that requires a runway in order to take off and land. This Wednesday, however, the Slovakia-based company announced its plans for an electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) model.
Called the AeroMobil 5.0 VTOL, the four-seat electric vehicle will perform vertical take-offs and landings using a set of rotors located on the ends of each of its wings – those wings will fold back when it's in "ground mode." Once the vehicle is airborne, a pusher prop in the rear will propel it forward.
The company states that the 5.0 will be capable of autonomous flight, which raises the question of whether or not a pilot's license will be required in order to fly it – one will be required for the existing non-VTOL combustion-engined AeroMobil 4.0 STOL (short take-off and landing).
Ultimately, it is hoped that the two models will complement one another.
"The multi-product strategy means we can provide urban travel with the AeroMobil 5.0 VTOL and intra-city travel with the AeroMobil 4.0 STOL," says CEO Juraj Vaculik. "Our strategy solves the limitations of alternative VTOL concepts which are tied to dedicated landing pods rather than also using the existing road infrastructure."
If you're wanting a 5.0, though, don't go making room in your garage just yet. AeroMobil estimates that it won't be available for another seven to 10 years, with production beginning sometime after the planned 2020 roll-out of the 4.0.
Terrafugia, incidentally, is working on a VTOL model of its own, known as the TF-X.